Without much ado, Congress recently passed legislation reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, and President Biden quickly signed it into law. The re-approval of this critical program builds on key pieces of recent economic legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the American Rescue Plan. While many Americans, including small business owners and entrepreneurs, may not be aware of any of these U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) efforts, their re-authorization is a major problem for innovation.
“The House and Senate did the small business good by passing this important legislation and preventing a catastrophic program shutdown for SBIR and STTR. Despite some differences in what NSBA was looking for and this latest package, small business innovators can continue to create and innovate their businesses to best serve the federal government,” said National Association for Small Businesses (NSBA) President and CEO Todd McCracken.
The SBIR program was established 40 years ago through the Small Business Innovation Development Act to award federal research grants to small businesses. Through SBIR and STTR grants, companies can apply for grants that meet the federal research needs of individual agencies.
Both the SBIR and STTR grants, the latter of which requires small businesses to partner with a non-profit research institution, are intended to stimulate technological innovation, encourage and encourage the participation of women and socially or economically disadvantaged people, and the commercialization of these resources in the private sector enhance innovations. Since its launch in 1982, the SBIR has resulted in the issuance of 70,000 issued patents and approximately $41 billion in venture capital investments.
Congress’ three-year re-approval of these programs, known as “America’s Seed Fund,” will build on these four decades of support. As SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said, “If the past performance of the SBIR program is any guide, new generations of entrepreneurs will break through barriers in science, medicine and technology, while ensuring that the United States position as an innovation leader at the forefront of science and technology in a rapidly evolving global market.”
Now that the program has been re-authorized, entrepreneurs can begin exploring their options for applying for SBIR and STTR grants. The SBA has initiatives to train and support potential SBIR and STTR applicants across the country. Interested companies can visit the The SBIR . Information Center learn more.
The success of our country is based on innovation. Re-authorizing the SBIR and STTR programs will continue to drive progress and give companies more opportunities to reach their full potential.